A Room of One's Own

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My Place in the Universe--My Work Room

Everyone's work and project space is different--it evolves as projects begin and evolve and are completed. Let me give you a tour of my work spaces. They are some of my happiest places to be.

Tools & Equipment

One of the most important things anyone ever said to me, was when I professed fear of a new sewing machine, that had an embroidery feature. This was about 1993 I think, and I bought this machine as a complete splurge, because I finally was making a decent wage. I paid for over a period of 16 months, and it was the most expensive piece of equipment I had bought up to that time. He said "It's just a tool.....it can only do what you tell it to". And that took away a lot of my fear of new things right then.

A creative space is the best place to be.....

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Yes, this looks like an "organized mess", just lots of stuff piled onto wall shelves. In reality, because I am very visual, as many of us are (is that why we are costumers?), I can sit at my desk and look straight ahead and see blue bins that are labeled for trim, cording, tassels, foam sheets, felt pieces, utensils, swatches, etc. Then there are the beads in compartmented plastic containers, all labeled on the sides. And books--references all filed together, photo albums, fabrics stacked up. Just before my Thanksgiving company arrived, I actually moved a few things around. Now I"m worried about finding them again!

My most productive chairs

The sewing machine on the left, my main workhorse, is a Sears Kenmore dating to about 1985. It was my present from my new husband when I graduated from PA school at George Washington University. He bought it with the cabinet. My brother bought me a sewing box with all the trimmings. The chair came later, from my Mom. It's a special chair for sewing with lots of back support and the seat comes up to store things in. The machine in the middle is a Bernette serger. My Mom bought it for me as a floor model from G Street Fabrics about 1990, after I ahd started costuming, and wanted one badly. Buying a floor model meant over 40% the new price, but with the full warranty of a new machine. It had only been used for classes at G Street, no hard use. We had to line up and take a number at 7:00 am that Saturday, but it was well worth it. The machine on the right is my Pfaff Creative 1475, the "quilters machine", because of its differential adjustable feed mechanism. This machine was one of the earliest home machines to have an embroidery feature. It has almost 200 programmed stitches, with 6 dufferent buttonholes. I keep all of these machines ready all the time, and for any given project, use all of them one after the other. They are not my only machines now (I also bought a used Bernina mechanical machine and a home embroidery machine--more about that later), but they are my mainstays. I would recommend any of them any time, have had very few problems with semi-regular maintenance.
A work table with sides that fold down and wheels, and a small storage space under it, sits in the middle of the room. Among other uses, I spread out quilts to do hand quilting this way, and clip the sides of the layers to the table sides to keep it from sliding.
You can see that I have thread racks on the wall above each machine (several of them are hidden behind a wall quilt) with regular and serger thread. My goals are to put all related supplies within easy reach of each station. Each machine has it's own scissors next to it, and there are stands with small rulers, chalk and bowls with pins right there as well. The wall quilt doubles as a sort of "bulletin board" that I pin pieces to, or photos or swatches.